Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G100028

The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius

Author: [unknown]

Background details and bibliographic information

File Description

James Henthorn Todd

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber, Philip T. Irwin

Funded by University College, Cork and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CELT Project, formerly CURIA

2. Second draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 16475 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
College Road, Cork, Ireland—

(2002) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G100028

Availability [RESTRICTED]

Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS H. 3. 17. (D). A miscellaneous volume, containing tracts from centuries 14, 15 and 16. Formerly in possession of Duald Mac Firbis and Edward Lhuyd. In this MS, the copy of the Leabhar Breatnach is on p. 806 b; probably written in the 14th or early 15th century and forms the basis of Todd's edition. Errors have been corrected by the editor, collating MSS. B and L.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 12 (Book of Ballymote), written in the 14th century (B). In the order of sections this MS differs from D; it contains various interpolations.
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 2 (Book of Lecan), written in 1427 (L).
  4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, a 12th century fragment in Lebor na hUidre (U). Fragment starts with 'acht ceana, a rig, ol se' (p. 94, section XIX) and runs until end of section XXIV.
  5. The Book of Ui Maine, written before 1423, when the scribe Faelán Mac an Gabhann died. This MS was not accessible for consultation by Todd.
    The Latin Nennius: editions and translations
  1. Nennii Historia Britonum ad fidem codicum manuscriptorum recensuit Josephus Stevenson. Londini, 1838.
  2. British History and Welsh Annals. Nennius edited and translated by John Morris. London & Chichester, 1980.
    The Irish Nennius: editions and translations
  1. Rev. Edmund S. J. Hogan, The Irish Nennius from L. na Huidre [1a. Text and transl.]. (Todd Lecture Series VI), Dublin, 1895. (Fragments of Sex Aetates mundi and of the Historia Britonum).
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, [Latin transl. of the Irish Version of the Historia Brittonum of Nennius] in: Chronica Minora Saec. IV-VII. Ed. Theodor Mommsen, Mon. Germ. Hist. Vol. III, 1898, 143-219.
  3. A. G. van Hamel, Lebor Bretnach. The Irish version of the Historia Britonum ascribed to Nennius. Edited from all the manuscripts [with the Latin version]. Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1932.
    Secondary literature
  1. Arthur de la Borderie, L'historia Britonum: attribuée à  Nennius et l'historia Britannica: avant Geoffroi de Monmouth par Arthur de la Borderie. Paris, 1883
  2. Heinrich Zimmer, Nennius Vindicatus. Über Entstehung, Geschichte und Quellen der Historia Brittonum, Berlin 1893.
  3. Max Förster, War Nennius ein Ire? In: Finke-Festschrift, Marburg 1925, 36–42.
  4. Sir H. Howorth, 'Nennius' and the 'Historia Britonum', Archaeologia Cambrensis. 6 Ser. XVII. 1917, 87–122, 321–45; 1918. XVIII. 199-262.
  5. A. H. Krappe, Note sur une épisode de l' Historia Britonum de Nennius, Rev. Celtique XLI (1924) 181-188.
  6. F. Liebermann, Nennius the author of the Historia Brittonum. In: Essays in Medieval History presented to T. F. Tout. Manchester 1925, 25–44.
  7. J. Loth, Remarques à  l'Historia Britonum dite de Nennius, Rev. Celtique XLIX (1932) 150-165; LI (1934) 1–31.
  8. Rudolf Thurneysen, Zu Nemnius (Nennius), Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 20 (1936) 97–137, 185–191.
  9. David N. Dumville, 'Some aspects of the chronology of the Historia Brittonum', Bull Board Celt Stud 25 9 (1974) 439–445.
    Reviews and Notices
  1. J. Vendryes, Études Celtiques III, 1938, 168-170 [Notice].
  2. I. Williams, Notes on Nennius. 2 Facs (Univ. of Wales Board of Celtic Studies Bulletin VII. 1935, 380-389.)
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Leabhar Breathnach annso sis: The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius. Edited with a translation and notes [from the Books of Lecan and Hy Many]. J. H. Todd (ed), First edition [16 + 288 + 130pp.] Irish Archaeological SocietyDublin (1848)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents even pages 22-286 of the volume. Editorial preface, introduction, and translation have been omitted. Corrections on the Errata slip were integrated into the digital edition. The original text ended with the end of section XXIV. The text following section XXIV is contained in an appendix; it includes wonders of the Island of Britain and the Isle of Man; a tract on Pictish history (XXVII to XXIX) with a poem in section XXX; an abridged translation of Bede's History; and the Legend of St Cairnech.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been checked and proofread twice using NSGMLS. All corrections and supplied text are tagged.


The electronic text represents the edited text; errata have been integrated and rendered . Todd's additions to the text supplied from other witnesses are tagged . Where Todd restored the text from various witnesses, rather than from one witness in particular; this is tagged . Place names, personal names (including established epithets) and names of days and months are capitalized. 'Naem' and 'Patricius Sanctus Episcopus' used as a title, 'Tigearna' used as a vocative, and 'Eclais' used for the Church as an institution, are capitalized. The ocus sign has been rendered &. 'Dalriatai' and 'Corcomruad' are rendered 'Dal Riatai' and 'Corco Mruad' according to CELT practice. Any letter with an horizontal stroke is rendered &[the letter]macr; in the SGML file. Spelling of definte article and preposition i (written as one or two words in the text) is normalized to is in, is na.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. Words containing a hard or soft hyphen crossing a page-break have been placed on the line on which they start. Initial nasalization, t- and prefixed h- have been hyphenated off, except in non-native proper names and Latin words. Notae augentes -sa, -se(a), -si(u) have been hyphenated off.


div0=the history; div1=the section within the Historia; paragraphs and page-breaks are marked.

Standard Values

Dates are not tagged.


Personal names, collective names and placenames are not tagged. Neither are names of professions and social roles. Numbers are not tagged. Such tagging is envisaged in a future edition. In Roman numerals, especially common in AD dates, the suprascript o of the hardcopy edition has not been retained.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV1 element to represent the Historia.

Profile Description

Created: By (an) unknown author(s) in Irish monastic scriptoria. Date range: Early medieval period.

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Middle Irish.
Language: [LA] Some words and phrases are in Latin.
Language: [AS] A few words are in Anglo-Saxon, possibly corrupted.
Language: [EN] Notes are in English.

Revision History